What to Expect with Bone Graft Recovery

by | Mar 31, 2023

In dentistry, bone grafts act as scaffolds and “fillers” to promote wound healing and help bone formation as part of treatments after extraction or infection. Jawbone grafts are most often used to support a dental implant in Rochester, NY. What is jawbone grafting, and what is the recovery like?1

What Is Jawbone Grafting?

Jawbone grafting is a surgical, dental treatment to replace missing bone in a patient’s jaw with material from somewhere else. Before a procedure for a dental implant in Rochester, NY, can take place, there must be a strong jawbone to support the implant. A bone graft fortifies the jawbone and provides that support if a patient is lacking the support necessary for a dental implant.

There are different types of bone grafting. Sometimes, small blocks of bone material are used, and other times, granulated bone material gets placed. Grafting material comes from a handful of sources and materials.2

Some bone grafting sources and materials include:

  • Tissue from a donor (allograft)
  • The patient’s own body (autograft)
  • Ceramic-based materials (alloplastic graft)
  • Combinations of materials (composite graft)
  • Animal-sourced biocompatible substitute (xenograft)
  • Synthetic regenerative substitute (synthetic regenerative graft)

When bone grafting is part of a dental implant procedure, the bone’s purpose is typically to restore the area where a tooth is missing. If the patient uses their own bone material, once the bone is in its new location, it restores blood supply to the jaw and can successfully support the dental implant.

What Is Bone Graft Recovery Like?

During bone grafting surgery, the patient is numbed and possibly sedated.3 This ensures that they remain comfortable and feel little or nothing while the periodontist and their team are working. It’s normal to feel some soreness and swelling when the anesthesia and numbness wear off.

However, within a few days, most discomfort subsides. To maintain the patient’s comfort and reduce the risk of infection, the periodontist may prescribe antibiotics and pain medication, which should always be taken as directed.

If you undergo bone grafting, make sure to get plenty of rest for the first couple of days following your procedure to encourage dental bone graft healing and shorten recovery times.

Jawbone Graft Recovery Timeline

One of the biggest questions people have about dental bone graft healing is how long the recovery period will take. The first thing to remember is that a patient’s discomfort after surgery eases relatively quickly. The second thing to remember is that just because the patient isn’t uncomfortable anymore doesn’t mean that the healing process is complete.

It can take a year or longer before the jawbone graft fully integrates into the jaw and becomes ready for a dental implant. Several factors influence the exact healing timeline for bone grafts.4

These factors include:

  • The type of graft
  • The type of grafting material used
  • The body’s health and ability to heal
  • The extent of the surgical procedure

Taking any prescribed antibiotics will ensure that your recovery process goes smoothly and that infections won’t impede your healing time. To speed your recovery, you should also avoid smoking, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of restful sleep.

Jawbone Grafting for Your Dental Implant in Rochester, NY

Even though about half a million adults have some type of dental implant surgery each year, not all of them need a bone graft first.5 A thorough examination will confirm whether you’ll need a bone graft before your dental implant placement.

Jawbone grafting can give you back your beautiful smile and restore your normal oral function. Contact us at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester to schedule a consultation today. Call us at 585-685-2005.



[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3722694/#ref1

[2] https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(21)00619-X/fulltext

[3] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/bone-grafting

[4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-implant-surgery/about/pac-20384622

[5] https://marketplace.ada.org/blog/dental-business/dentists-what-your-patients-should-know-about-dental-implants-and-their-health/

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